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zero calorie foods that AREN'T horrible

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Old 04-11-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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Default zero calorie foods that AREN'T horrible

ex: i'm OBSESSED with peanut butter. so much so that i can't keep it in my apt, or i WILL eat the entire jar in 10 seconds flat. so i happened to stumble upton zero calorie PB (http://www.amazon.com/Walden-Farms-P.../dp/B000X1Q1G8) and thought my life was about to change....it....was.....horrible.......

i know that there are lots of different zero calorie imitation products--has anyone come across something that blew their mind? or at least didn't make you want to puke
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:45 PM   #2
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I don't know how anything without calories could taste good without being either (1) very dubious in ingredient content or (2) water. Even cucumber and celery have calories... :P

I do like PB2 powdered peanut butter, though. It's much lower in calories than real peanut butter, but it's just oil-removed peanut butter -- 50 cal for 2 Tbsp reconstituted. Tastes like a less-creamy version of the real thing; excellent mixed in shakes.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:46 PM   #3
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i know that there are lots of different zero calorie imitation products--has anyone come across something that blew their mind? or at least didn't make you want to puke
Short answer? Nope.

The slightly longer answer: everything's a trade-off. I love full-fat real mayo, but it's a calorie-bomb. Instead, I use olive oil mayo that has half the calories, but still contains oil so it doesn't taste like that abominable fat-free mayo. It costs me 25 more calories over the inedible fat-free version, it doesn't taste quite as good as regular mayo, but it's a very workable compromise.

Once I made that change, I was able to go from half-cal mayo to using 35-calorie Laughing Cow cheese wedges most of the time. They're even lighter than the olive oil mayonnaise and have more nutritional value, so they're a worthwhile switch.

Imitation stuff rarely works for me because most of it tastes like crap. You get what you pay for--that's almost as true with calories as it is with cash. Figure out where you can compromise and "spend" less because the flavor isn't an integral part of your enjoyment. "Splurge" on the calories that matter most to you.

For example, I don't really care about the bread in my sandwich. It's easy for me to use a 100-calorie sandwich thin or wrap instead of 150 calories worth of sliced bread as long as the turkey is top-notch. I cut 3/4 of my usual rice serving away from my red beans and rice because the extra rice was just volume, not flavor; I now eat half a cup of rice to a cup of beans plus a salad or roasted vegetables on the side. I still get the awesome flavor of Louisiana red beans and rice--even with andouille sausage!--for about a quarter of the calories that the meal used to cost me.

One trick that helped me out more than anything else here so far: I've learned that no meal is complete without a vegetable or fruit. Vegetables are the natural not-horrible, almost-calorie-free food. Stuff them into everything you can find. You'll add a lot of bulk and nutrition without adding a lot of calories. If you don't like veggies, find ways to hide them: puree them to add to soup and meatballs, put more lettuce and spinach on your sandwich, eat an orange with your breakfast.

Whew, sorry to write a novel here. I hope some of it's useful to you, though.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:59 PM   #4
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lackadaisy--i have GOT to try this PB2 stuff--thanks for the suggestion!

nola--very good point about, as you said, "splurging" on the calories that matter most.

....though it was quite disappointing when when came to the realization that i wasn't going to be able to live out my dream of sitting on the couch with a spoon and a jar of PB, eat the whole thing, and not feel guilty..... hehehe.
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Old 04-11-2011, 10:44 PM   #5
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Nola ~ Good post!
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:09 PM   #6
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One trick that helped me out more than anything else here so far: I've learned that no meal is complete without a vegetable or fruit. Vegetables are the natural not-horrible, almost-calorie-free food. Stuff them into everything you can find. You'll add a lot of bulk and nutrition without adding a lot of calories. If you don't like veggies, find ways to hide them: puree them to add to soup and meatballs, put more lettuce and spinach on your sandwich, eat an orange with your breakfast.
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Old 04-11-2011, 11:23 PM   #7
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How can a food be zero calories? I am thinking about googling to see what this stuff actually IS, but I am afraid! LOL
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Old 04-12-2011, 09:21 AM   #8
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How can a food be zero calories? I am thinking about googling to see what this stuff actually IS, but I am afraid! LOL
hahah yeah, i prefer not to know as well...
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Old 04-14-2011, 04:33 PM   #9
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I think vinegar is zero calories. and it's great as a dressing or marinade. Mustard is like 5 calories but i round it down to zero...it's not like i'm going to drink the whole bottle.
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:22 PM   #10
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I don't know how anything without calories could taste good without being either (1) very dubious in ingredient content or (2) water. Even cucumber and celery have calories... :P
I heard that cucumber for example is negative calories since the body uses more energy (calories) to digest the cucumber than calories are eaten. (Does my sentence make sense?)
Anyways, I wouldn't distract calories but also not count calories in cucumbers. (Well, I am a WW so there are no points for cucumbers, that's what I am pretty much trying to say)
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Old 04-14-2011, 05:41 PM   #11
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The only thing that I include that might fit the zero are shirataki noodles - not the tofu ones - the traditional ones. A bag is maybe 20 calories. They add texture and bulk to soups and stir frys. Here is the Wiki link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirataki_noodles
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:00 PM   #12
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I heard that cucumber for example is negative calories since the body uses more energy (calories) to digest the cucumber than calories are eaten. (Does my sentence make sense?)
Anyways, I wouldn't distract calories but also not count calories in cucumbers. (Well, I am a WW so there are no points for cucumbers, that's what I am pretty much trying to say)
i also heard celery was negative calories for the same reason.. but everytime i eat celery i want to put peanut butter on it.. so totally defeats the purpose.

i also REALLY love peanut butter.. it is the best thing ever invented
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:18 PM   #13
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The information about "negative calories" in celery or cucumber or lettuce is, sadly, just a myth. That doesn't mean these aren't great super-low-calorie choices if you enjoy eating them, but they still contain more calories than we expend to chew and digest them.

Time magazine had an interesting article about other diet myths. I'll have to disagree with the author about yo-yo dieting and metabolism, though; too many people have "dieted themselves fat" for me to say that that's a myth. The author even mentions a study in which 1 in 13 of the women studied showed some kind of long-term metabolic change after yo-yo dieting during the 18-year study.

Still wish I liked cucumbers and celery, even though they aren't negative-calorie foods. They fill so many people up, but I just can't choke 'em down.
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:53 PM   #14
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Well, I do substitutions with things that are lower calorie, as Nola suggested. I love tuna salad, low cal of course. I sometimes use light miracle whip or even a little cottage cheese instead of the 50 cal a tablespoon regular stuff. And instead of bread, I eat it on Celery, or hollow out half a bell pepper and use that as my medium. Now, are they 0 calorie? No, but they're calorie conserving, at least. I don't know how much I trust foodstuffs labeled 0 calories. I've heard the negative calorie theory about celery and cukes, and though it might be true, I count them anyway. It might just be extra I'm not eating.
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Old 04-14-2011, 10:20 PM   #15
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Oh, speaking of lightened-up tuna salad--I found a GREAT trick for chicken salad that would probably work for tuna, too. Instead of a mayonnaise-heavy dressing, I use a mixture of fat-free Greek yogurt and half-cal olive oil mayonnaise. I followed something similar to Whole Foods' Sonoma chicken salad recipe and add in chopped celery, halved grapes, and a few crushed walnuts with the chicken. Plugging it into my favorite calorie calculator gave me a total calorie count of 228 calories per cup.

Per cup! That makes one huge-*** chicken salad sandwich wrap.

I love your idea of using a halved bell pepper as a vehicle for fillings and salads, FerretFanatic. Totally going to steal that one in the near future.
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